During This Election Year, I Vote for the Return of Human Decency
So, here’s what I’m thinking about today.
I believe that our country is experiencing a “human decency deficit” greater than any economic set-back we’re struggling to climb out of.
It would seem that human decency has been kicked aside as of late and then taunted and pummeled while sitting in the corner.
We live in a country divided: economically, socially, and politically, yet my greatest wish is that, instead of moving further apart in partisan directions along the spectrum of left to right, we lose the political labels, find common ground, and use that commonality as a basis of agreement, and positive action.
In order to pull Americans together instead of repel them, a primary piece of that common ground has to include human decency. There’s been a toxic regressive slide in the U.S. toward indecency that has to be stopped and reversed. Disagree with one another, sure. That’s what has made our country great. Be disrespectful and lacking in human decency, no. That’s a recipe for further disintegration of unity.
Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or somewhere in between, whether you agree with someone fully, to a certain extent, or not at all, there is never any excuse for blatant disrespect. This applies both if you’re talking about the president or merely we the people.
Blatant disrespect flies in the face of human decency. In order for human decency to return, there are certain things in which we cannot participate, nor can we condone, but that I’ve witnessed occurring with shock, dismay and disgust over the past few months.
♦ We don’t disrespect the standing president, whomever that happens to be.
♦ We don’t call him a “feckless weakling” in front of millions of viewers as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did, nor do we call him an idiot, loser, or psycho as Donald Trump has done many times. Whether you approve of his policies or not, his name is not “Osama” nor is it “Liar-in-Chief.” We call him President Obama or Barack Obama. It comes with the job.
♦ We don’t display messages that denigrate any president in any way, but especially not in a despicable, ethically bankrupt fashion.
♦ We don’t speculate on the size of our political opponent’s manhood or suggest that he just wet himself, particularly not if we’re running for president of the United States of America as Marco Rubio recently did to Donald Trump. Nor do we discuss our opponent’s propensity towards flop sweating, as Mr. Trump did to Mr. Rubio. If you disagree with another candidate or with the president for that matter, that’s absolutely your right. Use truthful, fact-based logic, and respectful words and then go forth and preach it. But do not use base humor, racial slurs, lies, manipulated data, or be disrespectful in the process.
♦ We don’t threaten to “bomb the SHIT out of” our foes as Mr. Trump suggests or “carpet bomb them into oblivion” as Mr. Cruz suggests, particularly when thousands of innocent civilian casualties would be unavoidable. And we don’t then propose that the U.S. should commit war crimes by tracking down and killing terrorists’ relatives.
♦ We don’t neglect those who have bravely served our country in the military. Rather, we fund programs to help them re-assimilate into society and overcome the trauma of the death and destruction they experienced while protecting the U.S.
♦ We don’t ignore the Golden Rule. Every major religion, that I’m aware of, is based on the principle of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If someone is in dire need of help, we help them. Also, think before you speak or type. If your message is unnecessarily unkind or disrespectful or is something that you would not like to hear if it was directed at you, then take a moment and self-edit. We also need to speak out against human indecency when we hear it or see it, while monitoring ourselves to make sure that we’re part of the solution instead of the problem.
♦ We don’t take hard-earned taxpayer money as payment for doing our jobs, and then refuse to actually do them just because we can’t get our own way.
♦ We don’t refuse to applaud or even nod in agreement as almost every Republican in Congress did during the president’s recent State of the Union address when he announced that he is actively seeking a cure for cancer.
Finding a cure for cancer is a non-partisan issue. A majority of human beings face the fear that we or one of our loved ones will be stricken by this potentially deadly disease. Don’t we all, therefore, regardless of our political stance, have a vested interest in eradicating it irrespective of who brought up the topic? The same would hold true for Democratic congress members if they were to fail to show support of a bipartisan effort that will help the majority of Americans. Not applauding a good cause simply because it was introduced by someone you dislike or because he or she belongs to a different political party is the type of childish, self-serving, politicized behavior that has to stop if we hope to become a unified country once more.
♦ We don’t vote for our chosen political party over what our conscience says is right. If you can’t stomach the immorality of the nominee chosen by the citizens in your party, then vote for someone else. Your integrity is worth it. Think about what you believe in. Do you believe in a political category i.e. “Democrat or Republican” above all else, or do you believe in voting for those who best represent your morals and ideals?
♦ We don’t sell our souls to the highest bidder.
♦ And we don’t stand behind a candidate, like 50% of polled Republican voters nationwide have said they would, who mocks a physically handicapped reporter, calls women pigs and no-nothing, ugly sows, who has proposed a ban on all Muslims in this country, who has his henchmen physically abuse hecklers, who has declared corporate bankruptcy four times and stuck others with his hundreds of billions of dollars of debt, and who has most recently refused to denounce the KKK, like Donald Trump has done.
It doesn’t get much lower than that.
Heck, the entire U.K. had a lengthy debate about whether or not they’re going to ban this bigot from entering their country, while here in the U.S., he’s cheered and supported so wholeheartedly that he’s all but locked up the nomination for the Republican party. And, to me, that’s truly embarrassing and frightening. If he wins the Republican nomination and goes on to win the presidency, our country will be up an immoral creek without a paddle. We’ll be even more morally deficient, as hard as it is to believe, than we are today.
Why do we, as U.S. citizens, accept this type of morally bankrupt behavior, and in many cases, even support it?
Has our own human decency vanished?
I don’t believe so. I refuse to believe so. I believe it’s out there and will soon resurface stronger and greater than ever before. It simply has to for the sake of our nation’s future.
And it must start with each of us: both through our own personal actions, as well as by refusing to accept and quietly support the indecency displayed by others.